You can find vintage crafts everywhere. Look in the antique stores, local re-use stores, or your grandma's attic. Keep in mind, they don't have to be bolts of fabric. I am talking about vintage clothes that have seen better days, that can't be repaired, and end up in someone's basement or attic, because they don't want to throw them out, for sentimental reasons. But never bring them out to show either. So they just sit there in boxes.
If you have any clothes like that, then why not take them apart and create beautiful doll dresses, or stuffies, or a smaller article of clothing, such as a vest?
There is a store in our area, that a young creative, artistic and crafty person started. She finds vintage fabrics and clothes, and remakes them into something really hip, chic and modern. She recycles. She gets people to drop off their older vintage style clothes and recycles them into really unique and one of a kind pieces of clothing to sell.
If you are good with a needle or a sewing machine, this could work quite well.
Make and Sell Crafts - Using Vintage Fabrics
Creating and selling crafts made from vintage fabrics, could be your way to recycle, reuse and reduce. What better way to bring that old dress out of the closet or attic, and create something new out of it? Something, that now gets to sit upstairs as part of your household and decor? Yet brings back memories?
But it doesn't have to be only older vintage clothes, it could be old bedspreads. People used to have very unique bedspreads, and even in the 60's and 70' with those bright chenille bedspreads. You can find them in estate sales, garage sales, antique stores, re-use centers, or just put out the word amongst your friends and family that you are looking for vintage fabrics and bedspreads, for creating and selling crafts. They will be happy to give them to you, since you are not actually throwing them out.
You could offer to make a soft stuffie or pillow to put on a child's bed that is created from the vintage fabric of their grandma's bedspread, or other sentimental item. This way it can be seen, and enjoyed, and has a nice story behind it.
Also check online, there are many suppliers out there that have bolts of fabric from many years ago.
Selling Crafts - Source Old Table Cloths
Another great vintage fabric, is old table clothes. Back from the day when linens of all kinds were very important to a household. People used to embroidery and hand sew table clothes, doilies and more. Get your brain going, and come up with some uses for these fantastic pieces of history, that have been stuffed away in basements and attics.
Aprons, were full sized at one time, and therefore there should be some fabric in there to create small pillows, or a dolls dress. If you have very high quality vintage fabrics, such as silk, you could create collector doll dresses. You can purchase vintage doll clothing patterns online now as well. Therefore you could dress a collector doll in the period costume using vintage fabrics.!Credit: morguefile.com
Of, course there is always the old standby, of creating quilts out of vintage fabrics, but it is nice to create other things as well. If you are selling crafts, then you need to create some things that are going to tug at the potential customers heart.
At the last craft show I was in, I saw a vendor selling small stuffed animals made from chenille fabrics, all bright colors, that attracted people, who remembered having those bedspreads as children. These were just simple little stuffies, with no moving parts, and sewn eyes, so no small parts at all. but looked so colorful in a large basket, it attracted customers.
Old Fur coats, can be recycled as well. I created a raggedy denim teddy bear and cut out a small strip of mink from a discarded mink coats for his scarf. It gave him softness and yet dressed him up. You can also sew with the old mink and rabbit fur coats. You just have to be careful about cutting some of the fur away from the seams to stop bulking up if you are creating stuffies (stuffed animals) It would be one way to remember Auntie Bert's mink shawl, that you have stuffed in the basement. Why not recycle it? You know no one is every going to use it or wear it again. It might as well become a soft stuffed animal that can be displayed. Or a fur coat for a display collector doll It would be a great way to remember her in that mink coat.
Faux furs work well too, as well as denim. Older leather coats can be remade into crafts, although, you may need some leather working tools for this. But if a jacket or coat or anything from years gone by, is sitting in your basement, garage, attic, and just moves when you move, and still sticks around when you have a big clean out, because you feel bad to throw it out, then rework it!
Some of these fabrics, can't be found on the market anymore, instantly making them a great niche in selling crafts. You will definitely be selling something different. You could also offer to do this for friends and family that don't have the heart to throw any of their relatives things away, but don't want to use them in their own homes. Such as the table cloths, bedspreads, tea towels, aprons and even curtains! It is amazing what fabrics got used for curtains in the 60's and 70's for example. I found a set of curtains with big bold flowers on that said "flower power" from the early 70's. My mom had kept them.. so these fabrics are back in.
You could make book bags, totes, small purses, hats, quilts, stuffies. Even things for the kitchen that have made a come back, since "retro is in".. toaster covers for example, table runners, place mats. You can purchase patterns just for these items...
Go ahead, have fun selling crafts using vintage fabrics. Sell "retro" as that is back in style, and promote the three "R"'s .. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle at your next craft show.
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